Friday, November 22, 2013

Screening Of "Born To Run" At California State University - Sacramento

A fine evening reminiscing about the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election with filmmakers Jayson Haedrich and Robbie Stauder, candidates Cheryl Bly-Chester and the inimitable William Tsangeres, plus campaign managers Robin Marcucci (Mike McCarthy) and Sean Penello (Georgy Russell), among others, at the Political Science Department at Sac State. We screened the film "Born to Run" with about 120 people! (It's easier to get the larger audiences when people are required to be there for college credit). The panel discussion was great!

The evening nearly derailed for me. I couldn't find a suitable place to park, so endured the $43.00 parking penalty. I walked vigorously to the classroom and sweated uncontrollably. I had to step out into the cold to dry out (and inadvertently met William Tsangeres and his daughter, who were late to the screening). Then, I discovered my pant's zipper was flawed. It had peeled open, and apparently I had inadvertently exposed myself to dozens of students when making introductions at the start of the screening. Great way to make a first impression!

Nevertheless, it was great fielding questions, and even sold three books (to Marcucci, Penello, and Tsangeres)! Finally, we are getting the attention we so desired (even if it was a semi-captive audience).

Afterwards, Bucca de Beppo was great too! First time I've ever been there.

Jessica and Erica Chester.  Here, Erica and I are in a phototaking duel.

Jessica and Erica Chester, with Jayson Haedrich and Sean Penello.

Jayson Haedrich, Cheryl Bly-Chester, and Robbie Stauder.

Jayson Haedrich, Cheryl Bly-Chester, and Robbie Stauder.

Jayson Haedrich, Cheryl Bly-Chester, and Robbie Stauder.

Fifty Years Ago, Today

Corina Bianca's Funny Toyota Ad

One Of My Las Vegas Stories Is On The Popular Page At This Week's "Question of the Week" On B3ta

Something odd happened there. A second story was on the popular page too, but they changed their minds and removed it. Oh well! I didn't even really understand my own joke, so maybe it's for the best.  Here's the story that remained:

Attention whore

Because it's all me, me, me... Apart from posting awful lies on Question of the Week, what ridiculous things have you or others done to grab the limelight?

My story is:
Drumming up business

It was a slow morning in Las Vegas; about 3 a.m. A group of bored prostitutes huddled on the casino steps. Suddenly, they took action. They lined both sides of an automated walkway and started spanking the men on the walkway as they trundled by - literally drumming up new business. The spectacle lasted 30 seconds, then they abruptly dispersed.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Republican Bluff Finally Got Called

It was well past time to end years and years of inexcusable partisan obstruction. The Republicans are unlikely ever again to be in the majority, and so it was time:
It’s hard not to see the Senate rule change Thursday as too little, too late. Liberals wanted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to push to end the filibuster at the start of this Senate session, but he at least twice relied on a handshake deal with Mitch McConnell that Republicans would stop their unprecedented obstruction campaign against President Obama’s nominees.

Of course, “everybody” knew how that would turn out, but “everybody” doesn’t sit in the Senate; it wasn’t until recently that tragically cautious Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and Max Baucus came around.

...Now, on the heels of Reid holding his fractious and often cowardly caucus together last month, to stop the GOP’s government shutdown and debt-ceiling hostage taking, it looks like Democrats are finally learning that appeasing bullies only enables them.

Listening to McConnell and Sen. Chuck Grassley rail against the Democrats’ power grab in the Senate on Thursday, you almost had to admire their chutzpah and capacity for projection – and their trust that the media would let them get away with it. Grassley really has himself to blame: by crusading against Obama’s right to fill vacancies in the crucial but conservative-dominated D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, brazenly calling it “court-packing,” he finally convinced moderate Democrats that they were dealing with unreasonable power-mad adversaries.

Ella Fitzgerald - A-Tisket, A-Tasket

I remember seeing Ella Fitzgerald sing this song, in Tucson, about 1980, in the company of Avishai Ben-David.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

And Yet MORE Car Repair!

$589.00 for ignition coil intermittent arcing.

Caught Some Of "Gamer" On TV Last Night

Last night they showed "Gamer", starring Gerard Butler, on the TV. It was fun in 2009 wandering around the bombed-out set in downtown ABQ. It was interesting to see them use some of the same spaces "Breaking Bad" used, to utterly different effect, such as this scene using the Albuquerque Civic Plaza.

Albuquerque Rejects Late-Term Abortion Ban

Albuquerque has rejected a late-term abortion ban. It's been interesting to watch the pendulum of politics there over the decades. ABQ was comparatively-liberal in the 70's, but became increasingly conservative over the next 25 years, fueled, I think, by people trying to find spiritual remedies to cope with crime and family drug addiction problems. Now, the pendulum is swinging the other way, fueled by greater reliance on Hollywood. New Mexico has always had a rather colonial relationship with the rest of the country, and like a weather vane, is exceedingly sensitive to cultural currents elsewhere in society:
Voters on Tuesday rejected the measure 55 percent to 45 percent following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising. The campaign included protests that compared abortion to the Holocaust and displayed pictures of aborted fetuses.

Ted Cruz, With No Answers

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kanye West And Kim Kardashian: The Funniest Thing I've Seen All Day!

The funniest thing I've seen all day! Reminds me of how surprised I was when they first started putting TVs in gas pumps. I heard this terrible guttural racket behind me as I started pumping gas. I turned around, and it was Yasser Arafat on CNN. So surprised! How did they cram him into the gas pump?

I remember stumbling across Kim Kardashian's birthday party celebrity photo opportunity at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas in 2009. I didn't know who she was, so I kept asking everyone in the sweaty paparazzi mob "Who? Who?" Fortunately there were other Hollywood types there with real gravitas: people like the Pussycat Dolls' Robin Antin. Now I know who Kim Kardashian is. I'll just call her biker chick.

Marq And Ed Make A Thank You Video

So sweet!

Kelsey B Is Sending Free Stuff

Kelsey B sent a message on Facebook. Time to promote her new album! Since I'm a prominent Sacramento blogger (or so I always tell myself) I get free stuff!

Here's My Hip Hop Fitness Class At Work

This was Thursday night's class. Mercifully enough, I'm not in the video: I'm just off to the right. Jenn was focusing on the better dancers towards the front. But this is my crew!

The Big Box Stores Are Hard On Sacred Texts

A pastor is outraged to find the Bible listed under 'fiction' at Costco:
“All the Bibles were labeled as fiction,” said Kaltenbach, pastor at the nondenominational Discovery Church. “It seemed bizarre to me.”
That's nothing. I once found Darwin's "Origin of the Species" on the remainder table at the Bullhead City, AZ, Wal-Mart:
The checkout clerk thoughtfully paged through both books, looking with particular interest at the illustrations in Darwin's book (reproductions of the originals). She said, with what seemed to be a bit of disdain about the laborious process involved, that she doesn't read much: in fact, the only book she reads is "The Bible." She said that she gets all her information from TV, since there is way too much reading involved to get information off the Internet, and that she has trouble even reading employment application forms.

Binge Watching "Breaking Bad" From The Beginning

JP paid a visit, so four episodes down.

Uninformed Homeowner In Pajamas Confronts City Workers Over Tree-Planting

This morning (11 a.m.), I was outraged to discover to find two city workers planting saplings on the embankment in front of my house. I ran out in my pajamas to confront them.

"What are you doing?" I asked. "We're planting crepe myrtles," they replied. "But that's private property!" I replied. "It's a park strip," they replied. "The city owns park strips." "But that can't be true," I replied. "Several years ago, when the sidewalk needed repair, the city charged me for it." The smiled and said: "Yes, they did." "So, the park strip is my property!" I said. "No, it belongs to the city," they replied.

I could have sworn the city maps showed me owning all the land to the street. It's mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! But since there was no surveyor anywhere in sight, I changed the subject. "Who's going to water the trees?" I asked. To my great surprise, they said, "Oh, the city will. A truck will come around and water them periodically, at least for the first two years, until they get a firm foothold." They added "Yeah, remember, these trees are expensive." I mulled it over and said, "Well, I'll add water too. The southern exposure is hard on trees here. OK, carry on!"

In the Nineties, Katherine planted saplings here, but the location is brutal for trees, and the trees soon died. The location is bad for grass too, or any plants that require water. The sloped southern exposure guarantees elevated summertime temperatures and an unquenchable thirst for any living thing unfortunate enough to be there. Even if everyone cooperates, these trees may die too. But if the city is dead-set in its madness, I'll do my part to help.

Carry on!

Psyched Out By Household Stuff This Weekend

On Thursday, the 'Service Engine Soon' light came on in my car. I took it in to OK Tires, but they couldn't divine the issue. They turned the light off, in the hope it doesn't return.

Sweeping the yard of leaves on Saturday, I noticed a big pool of sewage under my back porch. WTF? There was even this cute-looking cinder cone made of toilet paper from the eruption of water through leaves and accumulated debris. That area has an obsolete sewage pipe outlet there from when the house was first built. It can back up when the sewage pipe is blocked, but I thought I had last taken care of that problem in September, when I pulled a lot of roots out of the pipe. I guess the pipe was blocked again, only two months later. Yet, when I rented the roto-rooter snake, I pulled out no roots this time. Water flow seemed to be good. So, why did it back up? Or was this sewage sitting under my back porch for two months? If so, how did I fail to notice it?

It's all very confusing.

FOX News Weeps For Elderly Pregnant Women

Otter Fun

Harry Potter Stamps Anger Stamp Collectors

Above: Lamppost poster in Christchurch, NZ (2008).

Not 'Merican:
On Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service is scheduled to release 20 postage stamps honoring Harry Potter, and officials at the cash-strapped agency hope the images, drawn straight from the Warner Bros. movies, will be the biggest blockbuster since the Elvis Presley stamp 20 years ago.

...For one of the only times in its 56-year-history, the committee was not consulted in the decision to put Potter and his friends and foes on the run of 100 million “forever” stamps.

“Harry Potter is not American. It’s foreign, and it’s so blatantly commercial it’s off the charts,” said John Hotchner, a stamp collector in Falls Church and former president of the American Philatelic Society, who served on the committee for 12 years until 2010. “The Postal Service knows what will sell, but that’s not what stamps ought to be about. Things that don’t sell so well are part of the American story.”

In 1864, There Was One Person Who Completely Grasped The Task At Hand

General William Tecumseh Sherman
The March to the Sea was devastating to Georgia and the Confederacy. Sherman himself estimated that the campaign had inflicted $100 million (about $1.4 billion in 2010 dollars) in destruction, about one fifth of which "inured to our advantage" while the "remainder is simple waste and destruction." The Army wrecked 300 miles (480 km) of railroad and numerous bridges and miles of telegraph lines. It seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle. It confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder, and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills. Military historians Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones cited the significant damage wrought to railroads and Southern logistics in the campaign and stated that "Sherman's raid succeeded in 'knocking the Confederate war effort to pieces'." David J. Eicher wrote that "Sherman had accomplished an amazing task. He had defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. He destroyed much of the South's potential and psychology to wage war."

Monday, November 18, 2013

10th Anniversary Madness Of The 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election Continues!

Jayson Haedrich writes:
Hi Everyone:

Thanks for the intro Mark -

We are pleased to be screening the recall documentary I produced back in 2003 with Robbie Stauder at Sacramento State University.

If you didn't get a chance to catch the film last month at the 10th anniversary reunion at the capital - please feel free to come to this screening.

Time- Thursday, November 21st, 6PM
Location - CSUS - Mendocino Hall - Room 1015


Jayson Haedrich

Here is some Additional Info.

PS- If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Jayson so that he can give the school your name / info.

Marc's PS: Jayson is available on Facebook, and his E-Mail address is:

Kitten - Like A Stranger

Kitten was on Carson Daly's show. Their energy is impressive!

Mars Maven Spacecraft Heads To Mars

Nothing better than a rocket launch!:
The Maven, which NASA describes the explorer as an eight-foot cube weighing about as much as an SUV flanked by "gull-wing-shaped" solar panels, is set to reach Mars' atmosphere on Sept. 22, 2014.

Here is a longer, explanatory video:

Alms For The Poor

What is needed here are higher wages:
The store set up bins in an employee-only section of the store encouraging donations of food so that some of the store's needier workers could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, according to photos sent to advocacy group Organization United for Respect at Walmart.

Community members and store workers were upset by the food drive.

"That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers -- to me, it is a moral outrage," Norma Mills, a Canton resident, told the Plain Dealer.
Important to recall:
In 2011, six members of the Walton family had the same net worth as the bottom 30% of American families combined.

Saturday Night Live Mocks Both Toronto Mayor Rob Ford AND 60 Minutes' Lara Logan!

A bouquet of riches!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Descanso For Tyesha Keola Shanks

On Bradshaw Road:
The woman who was struck and killed by a Comcast pickup truck Thursday night on Bradshaw Road has been identified as Tyesha Keola Shanks, 33, of Sacramento, according to the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office.

A 2000 GMC Sierra truck driven by Comcast employee Kenneth Palmer allegedly plowed through the number three lane, killing the victim instantly, the California Highway Patrol said.